Customer Type: ERP
This customer sold an ERP for a specific industry. With clients in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia the firm had proven its value. However, every software product eventually becomes built like Rome: layers of code on top of layers of code mean there are often multiple ways of doing things. It’s not wrong. In fact, this is inevitable.
The problem was that sales was describing the product’s use one way, implementation another and tech support a third.
What to do
This was an enterprise-grade product that companies used to run their businesses. Like Photoshop or MS-Office there were often multiple ways to accomplish the same task.
Each version is true – in its own way.
Create golden paths. The product documentation was based around a generic installation. I created several dozen simplified golden paths as function block diagrams.
These could be affixed to client contracts: Tech support will tell you to do billing in this exact way. If your 200 employees each decide upon a different process we are personally happy for them but tech support will not be debugging all those different process.
If you want to get to grandmother’s house, stay on the golden path.
The company could sing from one song-book. Promises made by one department would not have to be walked back by another. Also tech support had ready-made answers for questions that were generic and reusable.
A side benefit was that QA also had standardized process against which to test.